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RWAs want refugees removed

delhi Updated: May 10, 2012 23:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Joining hands on the issue of presence of around 2,500 asylum seekers from Myanmar in front of an ASI-protected monument, RWAs from Vasant Kunj and panchayats from surrounding villages have threatened to start an agitation on May 16 if the foreigners were not removed from the area.

On Thursday, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), too, wrote to the police with apprehension about damage to the 13th century tomb Sultan Garhi. "The presence of large number of people can lead to a possible damage to the monument," said DN Dimri, ASI's Delhi circle chief.

Asylum seekers from Myanmar have been in the area since April 20 and have been camping at Sultan Garhi since Sunday. Representatives of several RWAs, villages, MLA Satprakash Rana and councillor Krishan Sehrawat held a meeting at block C9 on Thursday evening.

"We would hold a joint protest demonstration at the Nangal Deva temple on May 16 if the refugees are not removed," said Preeti Singh, secretary of RWA C9 block.

Meanwhile, on Thursday close to 200 students from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) protested behind the Vasant Marg office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR), demanding refugee status and basic facilities for the Rohingya immigrants.

"They don't have access to basic facilities and it is imperative that they be given primary facilities of water, food and proper shelter," said Sucheta De, president, JNUSU.

However, the move did not bode well with Delhi Police, which has now issued an order against any such demonstrations in the vicinity of the UNHCR office for 60 days.

"This office has become the target of protestors with their own social and political issues. So now we have issued an order stating that there can be no public meeting or a gathering of five or more people 200 metres of the UNHCR office," said a senior police official.

While the refugees claimed that the UNHCR had granted permission for them to stay there, the latter denied the claim.